April 17, 2014

Start-Up Guide

Business Planning

Prepare a plan and use it

Barbara Miracle | 6/1/2006

10 Steps to a Business Plan

1. Use a Printed 8 1/2" x 11" Format. Use a loose-leaf binder to package the plan and to facilitate any revisions.

2. Begin with a cover sheet that includes the name, location and telephone number of the business and the name of the person who wrote the business plan.

3. Keep it short and crisp without compromising the description of the venture. Include a one- or two-page executive summary with an overview of the most important issues in the plan - including the business's niche, marketing, management experience and finances.

4. Organize it with a table of contents that shows logically arranged sections and appendices

5. Identify a target market in the plan. Indicate whether the market is growing, steady or shrinking. Provide extensive details about competitors, including their strengths, weaknesses, estimated market share and other details. Include your pricing strategy. Finally, explain how you plan to promote the business.

6. Explain the benefits of your product or service to the user or customer. Describe how it is unique and its appeal to customers. Include information about your business's location, current and future space requirements and area
demographics.

7. Show that you have an effective management team. Detail the backgrounds of executives, their qualifications, the need for additional management talent and how the owner plans to attract new personnel.

8. Focus the plan toward the future. Attempt to develop forecasts of industry trends over the next three to five years.

9. Highlight current and potential problems and demonstrate how they will be overcome. This will enhance your credibility.

10. Develop a financial plan that includes a capital equipment list, a balance sheet, income statements for three years (or pro-forma income projections for a new business), cash flow statements, break-even analysis and loan applications.

Resources

Tags: Florida Small Business, Banking & Finance, Business Services

Florida Business News

Florida Trend Video Pick -

Okeanos Explorer 2014
Okeanos Explorer 2014

ROV Deep Discoverer (D2) has arrived on the seafloor at site “Northwest Gulf Mid-Depth." Today (4/17/2014) the ROV will  visit two Monterrey shipwrecks. Deployment of the ROV is planned for 0930 Eastern, with D2 arriving at the seafloor around 1030. Live streaming will commence then. Click to watch the stream or go here for more info.

Earlier Videos | Viewpoints@FloridaTrend

Ballot Box

Amazon will begin charging Florida residents sales tax on May 1, 2014. How will this affect your online shopping at Amazon?

  • I will buy less from Amazon
  • This won't change my Amazon shopping
  • I don't shop at Amazon

See Results

Ballot Box
Subscribe